Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This thing called Military life.......


One of the hardest things about being a military family is the constant moving, yes it's fun and it's a way to travel and see the world but it's also hard to make roots, to really make a place your own and to forge friendships that are meaningful.

Why you may ask?

Because just when you get to know someone and you forge that bond, either you or them or both get orders and you have to yet again, say goodbye.

We're extremely blessed to have the benefits and the job stability that come with being in the military and for the most part we've learned to live with the pros and cons....but for me there is a huge con that I will never get used to and I doubt I'll ever really accept it, even though it's a daily part of military life......... saying goodbye to friends.

If you're lucky you make friends for a lifetime, the type that no matter where you go or what you do, you stay in touch through phone calls, through emails, through blogs and facebook and whatever else you have at your disposal.

And then there's those times that no matter how much you want to stay in touch, life just throws you a curve ball and unfortunately you end up loosing touch.

It's happening yet again for us, one of my friends just left today, they're headed to England. Can you believe that? I mean...how much do I love England and want to go there? LOL

But we hugged and said our goodbyes yesterday and this morning when I pulled up to the school to drop off the kids, I missed her, I missed seeing her smiling face and her adorable boys -- and it hit me -- it's happening yet again, another good friend, someone I had so much in common with, gone!

It got me thinking again that this kind of life is not for everyone, it's tough, it's excruciatingly painful when your husband is deployed and heartbreaking when you're far from family which is 99% of the time.

I remember before we got married, I had no clue what being a military wife meant, what it entailed, what I was getting into and in retrospect I wish I had the tools and the information at the time to better equip me for this job, truth be told though, it's a learn as you go experience, you won't know how it feels and what happens until you've said goodbye to your husband, watched his uniformed back walking away from you as a you hold a baby on your hip, tears running down your face and make your way back to a cold empty house.

It's at those moments in time when the friends you make, step in, these are women and men who have gone through it, who ARE going through it and know exactly what you need to get you through this.

Making friends in the military is not always easy, even when you're stationed at a base for 2 or 3 years, it's a constant come and go, you're sure to get new neighbors a couple times a year, so when you do make friends, you make them fast and you make it last.

It may feel like I'm venting, I'm not, I'm just thinking out loud and reminding myself that it's not the first time I've had to say goodbye to a friend and it certainly won't be the last....after all....it's this thing called Military Life.

27 comments:

Danielle Says Hello said...

It isn't for everyone...that is true...but I absolutely loved it. Now that my husband has retired and we have lived here for going on nine years...well...I love that even more. However, until we hit year five I always felt in the back of my mind that we were going to get "orders" to move ;)

Pamela said...

Been there, done that, currently still doing it...and I know exactly how you feel. No-one can tell you that it ever gets easier because it doesn't but God brings people into our lives and takes them away for a reason. It's one of those trails they keep talking about. Does it make us a better, stronger person? I guess, but it sure is tough.

Pamela said...

and that should say "trials" not "trails" LOL!

debra said...

That was a nice post. My dad was in the Navy so I was on the kid's end of having friends come and go as well as coming and going myself. My husband (who is not in the military)& I have lived in our current home for 10 yrs. The longest I have ever lived in one place.

My parents recently had some friends visit who they were stationed in Hawaii with in the early 60's. They have kept in touch all these years and they just picked up where they left off - like they hadn't been a part for 40+ years. That's a special benefit to the moving and making friends. Some ARE lifetime friends for sure. :)

Mike Golch said...

I can so relate.I had a bunch of friends recieve PSC orders and I would have to say goody by to them. I was on a controlled tour of duty at one base for the time I was in the Air Force.

Mari said...

I can't imagine it. It's hard being a military mom, but actually living it has to be worse.

Conny said...

You expressed that well ... it's just the way it is in the military - but it still "hurts" to see friends move on - or to leave friends behind when it is your turn to go. I prefer the "going" to the being left though!

YayaOrchid said...

Sandra, I am so, so sorry for the sadness you're feeling right now. This sort of thing kinda forces you to try and find a silver lining. Now you'll have a perfect excuse to visit England and the Jane Austen sites! Not trying to trivialize this, I know how hard it must be. Praying for you, kiddo.

Maggie Ray said...

I was an active duty spouse for a long time and then retired and became the stay at home spouse. For me it was much easier when active duty than once I retired. It was easier to form the bonds with coworkers than with neighbors and moms of the other kids. But it's harder to watch the later move on, maybe because you worked so hard to form that bond. Thankfully the age of the internet allows us to still stay in touch.

Sandra said...

I just want to tell you 'Thank You'. Not only does your husband serve our country but your family does too and I appreciate that very much. I know it's hard to say good-by to friends, but living the life you do, you must have a lot of love that has touched you and vice versa through 'friendship'.

Mrs. Co said...

While I love having friends all over the country I agree that when the time comes to say goodbye, it just seems to never get easier.

Hugs to you!

Jennifer said...

Stay strong mama! I am moving also in 2011 to Hawaii. I have lived here since '93. While I am excited I am really nervous. We are here for you!

Sarah said...

I'm sorry that your friend is moving away. But it would be lovely if you could come over to England too though!

I can imagine that moving so often must be so hard.

(((Big hugs))).

xx

Judy @ daily yarns said...

I can totally understand what you're going through...Not from the military side of it but the civilian side. I grew up near a Navy base and we would have Navy families move in and go to school with us. I can't tell you how many times I would make friends only to have them move away and I can't tell you how many times I cried. So, go ahead and vent that's okay.

Linds said...

The up side of this, Sandra, is that you get really good at making friends fast, and investing the time in those friendships. I know how much I depended on those friends when G was away at sea for 9 months of a year at least. They are the lifeline when we are standing there with little ones waving goodbye yet again. I have been incredibly blessed - the really close friends I made through the years are still close, even though we are scattered to the 4 corners of the earth now. The friendships have endured and strengthened through those years.

And I think it would be great if you could come to the UK to visit!!!

Cheri said...

We discussed this at length when our leadership board prepared to kick off our bible study year. Yes, we move and they move, and things change. We are stationed on a training base, so the turnover is even worse. But it makes it that much more important to form those bonds quickly, and welcome new ladies with open arms and hearts!

We lived in a "civilian" assignment for three years and it was SO MUCH HARDER to make real friends. Everyone had been together forever and would be together forever. They just didn't get our lifestyle!

Smiley said...

Hello Sandra,
While I haven't lived the exact life you lead, I can relate. My fiance is a 22 year veteran of the National Guard in Wisconsin. I understand the deployments, the missing what is missing and the ache. It takes a strong person to love a military person.

Thank you for all your husband does for this country and thank you for all you do as well!

Take care

Sheila

JAMIE ANN said...

Praying for you! I know it is hard. I pray and appreciate the Military and the sacrafice they have given for people they dont even know. Thank you, Thank your Husband, and Thank your kids for doing something I have not had to do. My husband was in the Military, My sister and brother. :) Thanks to everyone, that has served, is serving and will serve!

Wendi said...

You are so right that it is not the life for everyone. As prepared as I thought I was it was still hard. I remember crying many times my first year as a military spouse. Missing my family and new husband. I don't think everyone gets what a true sacrifice it is not only for the one serving, but for their spouse and children.

A huge thank you for the service of your family!

Barbie @ Mamaology said...

Thank you for your sacrifice...I appreciate it!

Susanne said...

I have often thought of this aspect of your life Sandra. I seriously don't know if I could do it, but I suppose if I was in the situation I would because I would have to. Hugs to you today as you miss your friend.

Heart2Heart said...

Sandra,

I commend you for what you have to sacrifice each time you have to go through any of the things listed here. I find it difficult when my hubby travels for 4-5 weeks at a time so I can't begin to imagine just how difficult it can be for you.

I know I could never be a military wife and I truly admire those who do for those very reasons of what they give up!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Christina said...

This is the thing I don't like most about military life. Like you I have kept in touch with many friends who have moved, but it's not the same as living in the same place. Sorry to hear your friend left, that's hard.

Lorie said...

This is very hard but on the other hand I have friends that I have had for 20 yrs when we first got married and were stationed in England.It is hard to say goodbye but you should see my address book :) My husband retired 2 yrs ago and I have to say I miss the anticipation of new orders and moving but I don't miss saying goodbye!

Michelle said...

Totally understand...sending you some hugs.

I've been missing my friends back in NM, even though most of the core group I hung out with in the 8 yrs I was there have all moved away...just a few remain.

Kaitlynn said...

I give not only those serving in the military but their families high honor. It is amazing the sacrifices made and often without thanks or benefits, the pay probably isn't great and like you said, it's hard to make roots.

Thank you for choosing to live this life that keeps us free. I for one do not take it for granted.

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

It's a different life and not always easy, but has it's rewards too - like all of life.

My niece's husband just got orders for Japan. They leave in 2 months and will be gone 4 years. I am so glad for her and them to have this awesome opportunity. I also am glad she knew she could ask me for help.